Arsenal player ratings: Playmaker returns to form but holding man struggles again
PUBLISHED: 15:26 07 February 2016 | UPDATED: 09:53 08 February 2016
2016 The Arsenal Football Club Plc
Arsenal got back to winning ways on Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 win in the Barclays Premier League over AFC Bournemouth at The Vitality Stadium.
Arsene Wenger made one change to the side that drew 0-0 with Southampton at the Emirates in midweek, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came in to replace Joel Campbell.
Having drawn a blank in their last three Premier League matches, the North Londoners got back on track in style.
A quick-fire double in the first half saw Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hand Arsenal a two goal advantage within 88 seconds – and it was one they held for the remainder of the contest.
The meeting between the two sides on the south coast was the first time that the Cherries had hosted the Gunners in a competitive fixture.
Here’s how we rated Wenger’s men…
Petr Cech – 6
Did well to tip away Arter’s effort when his side were 2-0 ahead in the opening period. In the second half, rushed distribution from his hands led to him throwing the ball straight out of play on a number of occasions – much to his manager’s frustration. Impressive double save late on made up for afore mentioned errors.
Hector Bellerin – 7
Played an unsung part in the opening goal with a clever deep cross. Always a threat going forward with his pace as the fleet-footed young full-back continues to impress.
Laurent Koscielny – 7
Tasked with dealing with former Gunners man Benik Afobe, and alert early in the game to block Bournemouth efforts – good performance from the skipper.
Gabriel Paulista – 7
Vocal central defender made some vital last ditch challenges and interceptions as he and Koscielny kept consecutive clean sheets in the league.
Nacho Monreal – 6
Shouts for a penalty just before the half hour mark were waved away - a typically understated but crucial performance from the Spaniard.
Mathieu Flamini – 6
Perhaps lucky to escape a red card when dangerous two-footed early challenge on Dan Gosling earned him just a yellow, from that point on his side took control of the contest with the Frenchman typically rugged in front of the back four.
Aaron Ramsey – 8
Typically solid and industrious performance in the centre of the field, perhaps lucky to get away with a late challenge on midfielder opponent Harry Arter in the first half though. The Welshman played a pivotal role in Arsenal’s second as his through ball set Oxlade-Chamberlain in on goal. Had the chance to add gloss to the scoreline late on but failed to find a way past Boruc.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – 7
Grabbed the quick-fire second goal after being played in well by Aaron Ramsey with a composed finish in off the post – his first away goal for the club. Withdrawn with just over 20 minutes to play, on the day, he was the only Arsenal man to have ever played at the Vitality Stadium.
Mesut Ozil – 8
Opened the scoring for Arsenal with a lovely volleyed finish, and looked a class act all afternoon down on the south coast. The visiting contingent provided frequent reminders of how lucky they are to have such a talent.
Alexis Sanchez – 7
Had his side’s first chance of the game but volleyed wildly over, always on the shoulder of the last defender and looking to run in-behind. Caused Smith problems in the second period as he got in-behind on more than one occasion – replaced by Kieran Gibbs with just under ten minutes left.
Oliver Giroud – 7
Superb headed assist for the first goal, and hard-working performance leading the line for Wenger’s men. Tired towards the end, but his clever link-up play remained.
Francis Coquelin - 6
Replaced Oxlade-Chamberlain with 20 minutes left and added steel and stability to a visiting midfield looking to see out the contest.
Kieran Gibbs – 6
Gave energy on the left hand side to help his side see the game out.
Theo Walcott – N/A
The winger’s entrance late on didn’t give him enough time to influence proceedings.